GALVESTON, TX — Colonel Donald E. Reynolds (July 17, 1926, to February 4, 2022) was born in Elkhart, Indiana to parents Ruth and Ernest, one of four children. As a youth, Donald dreamed of flying, so when he was old enough to enlist, at age 17, he joined the Army Air Corps Reserve. In January, 1945, Cadet Reynolds was called to duty for flight training at Keesler AFB. With the close of WWII, in November 1945, he was discharged; however, his career as an Air Force Reservist would continue through his lifetime until his retirement on July 17, 1986. Colonel Reynolds was activated in the Air Force Reserve in 1953 as a photographic technician and later as an information technician, reaching the rank of technical sergeant. Then in 1965, he was commissioned to the rank of captain. Later assignments included service at several U.S. Air Force bases and at the Pentagon, in Washington, D.C. He participated in joint military exercises in Europe, Alaska, and Central America, and in disaster relief operations in Honduras and Nicaragua.
He retired in the rank of Colonel after more than 34 years of military service. His last assignment was with the Air Force Service Information and News Center, Kelly AFB, Texas, where he served as mobilization assistant to the commander. Colonel Reynolds received the Meritorious Service Medal and The Legion of Merit Medal for his contributions, respectively, to the Air Force Reserve Information Program and to the integration of the Air Force public affairs community. These joint and departmental wartime planning structures contributed significantly to the strength and readiness of the United States Air Force.
In his civilian capacity, Don Reynolds’ career included 25 plus years in the fields of photojournalism, editing, and public affairs management. He authored and/or filmed articles and advertising illustrations appearing in numerous mass media publications including Life, Country Gentlemen, Ebony, Saturday Evening Post, Time and TV Guide. He worked as a journalist for two Ft. Wayne, Indiana daily newspapers. Additionally, he was Picture Editor for The Milwaukee Journal, Assistant Editor of TAC ATTACK, Tactical Air Command, and Director of Information, Central Air Force Reserve Region. He also received The Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his tenure as Director of Communications 1970-1975 at Ellington AFB.
Although Don’s youthful ambition for flight training would never materialize, he would pursue his love of being in a boat on the ocean doing something productive. He would build a 40-foot working boat that he used to harvest blue crab from coastal Virginia waters. Later he purchased a 60-foot shrimp outrigger, ‘Lil Bit’ that he operated in Galveston Bay to harvest shrimp and crab for his seafood production business on the Texas coast.
Don contributed his vast knowledge and experience in communications and public affairs to lead Gulf Coast fishermen through some turbulent times during the 1980s. He headed the Marine Advisory Committee of the Galveston County Texas Agricultural Extension Service and was president of his local PISCES organization. In 1988 he was appointed by Texas Governor William P. Clements to a five-year term on the Management Committee of the Galveston Bay National Estuary Program. Donald was active with the Gulf Oyster Industry Council, the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference, and the National Fishery Institute.
Colonel Reynolds and his wife Kathryn were married for 56 years until her death in June 2021. Kathryn was the radiant love of his life, his partner, First Mate, and confidante. Colonel Reynolds is survived by his sister, Eleanor Griffith, daughters Sandra Parker (Tom), Cyndie Harter (Gary), Valerie Ballard (Gary); four grandchildren; and five great grandchildren.
Riemann Family Funeral Home, 11280 Three Rivers Rd., Gulfport is serving the family. An online guestbook may be signed, and condolences offered at www.riemannfamily.com.